The Queensland Government this week announced an increase to the First Home Owner Grant for eligible Queensland buyers.
The changes mean that first home buyers in Queensland may be eligible for a payment of $30,000 towards the cost of purchasing or building their new home, up from $15,000 under the previous scheme.
What Is The First Home Owner Grant?
The First Home Owner Grant is a program administered by the Queensland Government which provides grants to eligible home buyers in Queensland.
The ethos behind the First Homer Owner Grant is to assist new home buyers to own their own home sooner, with Premier Palaszczuk in a joint statement earlier in the week stating that the new scheme has been developed to assist Queenslanders with the rising cost of living.
Am I Eligible For The First Home Owner Grant?
The eligibility criteria for the First Home Owner Grant has a few moving parts, and if you are unsure, it is always best to seek advice from your solicitor or financial adviser.
In short, the first home buyer grant is available where the value of the property is less than $750,000, where the buyer(s) meet the personal eligibility criteria, and where there is an eligible transaction.
While the Queensland Government has yet to release all the details of the new scheme, it is set to apply to transactions as of November 20, 2023 through to mid-2025.
Below is a summary of the criteria buyers will need to meet.
Personal Eligibility Criteria
The eligibility criteria for buyers includes;
Buyers must be over the age of eighteen,
Buyers must be Australian Citizens or permanent residents; where there is more than one applicant, one buyer needs to be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident
Buyers must not have previously owned residential property in Australia that they have resided in.
Buyers must move into the property within one year of purchase and live there as their principle place of residence for at least six months continuously.
Buyers must not previously have received a First Home Owner Grant in any territory or state of Australia
Property And Transaction Details
The property must be valued at under $750,000, and may be any of the following;
A free standing house
An apartment or unit
A duplex or townhouse
A granny flat built on a relative’s property
A home that has been moved from one parcel of land to another
The property transaction must be one of the following eligible transactions;
A new home is a home that has never been lived in or sold.
The first home owners grant is not available for previously owned property, or property that has previously been lived in, unless it is a substantially renovated home (see below).
Contract to Build
A contract to build is where the Buyer has engaged a builder to build their home under a comprehensive home building contract – that is, a contract to build the home to completion where a final inspection certificate has been issued.
For example, buyers purchasing a house and land package may be eligible.
Off The Plan Purchase
Buying off the plan means signing a contract to buy a property before the home is completed and/or the proposed lot and plan description has been registered.
An off the plan purchase may be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant provided all eligibility criteria are met.
If you build all or part of your home as an owner builder, or you engage more than one builder to build different parts of your home, you may still be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant as an owner builder.
The First Home Owners Grant may also be available where a home has been substantially renovated.
Care should be taken when assessing whether or not there have been ‘substantial renovations’ to a property. In general, most or all of the components of the home must have been removed or replaced. A renovation of one room in a three bedroom house for example, would not count as a substantial renovation.
Other criteria apply as well, including;
The seller must be registered for GST, and evidence must be provided that GST is payable on the purchase price
The Seller must provide a statement declaring that the property has not been lived in or sold since the substantial renovations took place, and the nature and extent of the renovations.
The above is a summary of the eligibility criteria for the First Home Owners Grant. For more information, check out the Queensland Government’s guide, and remember to seek advice if you are uncertain.
Other Points To Consider
If you are buying property for the first time, it’s important to remember that the First Home Owners Grant is only one part of the complex process of buying property. There are many other things to consider, including;
What other grants or concessions you might be eligible for;
Which bank or lending institution you will choose if you require a loan to finance your purchase;
Which conveyancer you will use to guide you through the process of buying your first home
We offer an extremely competitive rate for buyers in Queensland of just $825 (including GST, government & settlement fees extra), and with eight offices Queensland wide, our team is able to assist you wherever you are.
While our fees are fixed, outlays like searches vary between council areas. Our quote form can give you an estimate of your search fees based on where you are looking to buy.
If you have more questions about any other aspect of buying a home in Queensland, we encourage you to reach out via our contact form, or give our friendly, expert solicitors a call today.
The above is not legal advice and is general information only.
Whether you are buying or selling, our dedicated team will work with you to ensure your property settlement is a stress free and exciting process. We want you to feel that you are in control of the conveyancing process, not that the process is in control of you. Let us show you how easy it can be.